Bird’s-eye view of Santiago

Bird's-eye view of Santiago

I loved hiking up the San Cristobal hill to check out the view of the city and beyond!


Week 1 – Santiago

Blurry.  Challenged. Inadequate. Absorbing. Lost. Progress. Lonely.

I arrive to Santiago exhausted and disoriented after an overnight flight – a new culture, a different language, another continent. However it doesn’t take long to realize that Santiago is an easy city – clean, safe and with efficient transportation. My first few days at Sistema B are hard. I’m thrown into a new work environment, the Spanish is fast and different, and I have a lot to prove. I take lots of notes and learn great new words, for example, acucioso (diligent), lograr (to achieve) and of course bacan (Chilean for “cool”).

I find myself in new meetings every day – introduced to many entrepreneurs and learning about great social ventures in Chile. The Spanish immersion is much more intense than I had anticipated, and I’m complety exhausted at the end of each day. I am frustrated by my inability to communicate effectively and share my input at a professional level, but I also feel growth and am grateful for the experience.

The natural beauty of Santiago amazes me.  The modern South American city is settled between looming mountains and on a clear day I can see the remaining snow in the distance. The weather is perfect. I sit on my balcony and watch the sun set each evening while the cool evening breeze cools off the hot summer day.

Old and new in Santiago

Old and new in Santiago

This is my favorite corner on my walk to work.



Hola desde Santiago, Chile!

This is my first time in South America and it’s already exceeding expectations. I am Experteering with Sistema B, an organization that evaluates, supports and helps finance small social businesses (Empresas B) here in Chile and other parts of Latin America. In order to become an Empresa B, the company must take an assessment and prove that it exists to create benefit for society in a variety of different categories. An arm of the B Corporation movement that is spreading across the world, Sistema B aims to redefine success in business as using the power of markets to create social and/or environmental good.

So far, Santiago is wonderful! It’s summertime here and the sun stays up until 9PM! The mountains surrounding Santiago are breathtaking, and I cannot wait to get outside of the city to see the natural beauty of this country that I’ve heard so much about!

My greatest challenge so far is the language – man it’s hard!! My Spanish is awfully rusty as is, and the Chilean accent and dialect is quite different from what I was used to in Spain. However, being immersed in the language all day at work is allowing me to learn as quickly as possible.

Tomorrow I am off to Cajon del Maipo after work with a colleague of mine. It should be beautiful!